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VS Code + GitHub Gist = Cloud-Based Developer Scratchpad

Jonathan Carter
I build developer tools and services at Microsoft (currently VS Online, Live Share, IntelliCode, and Playwright, previously CodePush, IE Dev Tools, Visual Studio, Azure).
Updated on ・1 min read

GitHub Gist provides a powerful and flexible platform for quickly creating, editing and sharing code files and snippets. In order to make it easier to iterate on Gists from a feature-rich editor, I created a VS Code extension that exposes Gists via a “virtual file system”, that allows you to edit gists as if the files were local: GistPad.

My team builds both Visual Studio Online and Visual Studio Live Share, so I’m keen to explore adding this Gist editing experience to the web-based editor and then enabling you to collaborate with others in real-time 🚀

That said, I’m curious to hear if people think this kind of experience could be useful, and also, what you’re currently using Gists for (or want to use them for!). This is largely just a proof-of-concept, so any feedback would be hugely welcome 🙏

Discussion (6)

khuongduybui profile image
Duy K. Bui
  1. It's definitely useful.
  2. I don't see a link to your extension / can't find it on marketplace either.
  3. I've been using
crash180 profile image
Kevin Eldridge

I could not find the extension either on the Marketplace.

lostintangent profile image
Jonathan Carter Author • Edited

Apologies! I hadn't published the extension to the marketplace yet, but it's available now. Grab it here or search for GistFS in VS Code. Note, this is super early/rough, so please let me know if you run into any issues or have any feedback 👍

davidkarim profile image
David Karim • Edited

I think it looks really cool. I would definitely use it. I haven't found anything that can help keep code snippets and notes in one place for VSCode. Having a file system approach that actually stores code and notes in gist is an awesome idea. I guess it's so new that it isn't in the marketplace yet?

So I just saw your extension on the marketplace and I am now using it. It does seem very cool. I could see myself using it. But ideally, to make it more useful it would be great if it didn't open up as a separate workspace. Instead, it would be great if it just shows its own icon in the sidebar. Also, if it could show all the gists, rather than having to put in a gist ID, that would be awesome. It's off to a great start.

lostintangent profile image
Jonathan Carter Author

Just published it to the marketplace! Grab it here or search for GistFS in VS Code.

davidkarim profile image
David Karim

Just edited my original post with my comments. Thanks for update! :-)